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Author Topic: Musical dissent and crackdowns in Montreal
April
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posted 11 May 2005 04:57 AM      Profile for April     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
OK, things are culturally fucked up in Montreal regarding the culture.

Firstly, the bureaucrats are doing this to the most disadvantaged artists and musicians, including: "-Prohibiting musicians from using spoons, triangles or castanets on Ste. Catherine between St. Mathieu and University Sts. (effectively silencing the famous "Spoonman" in front of Ogilvy's department store)." Here is a disadvantaged Quebecois artist with a traditional instrument, and they are trying to stop him from playing.

Meanwhile, the MSO, highly-paid musicians of the elitist orchestra, had a musical protest of their own, not in support of the buskers rights, but to get a salary increase! Note that "The brass section of the OSM led about 75 musicians and supporters along Ste-Catherine Street", a much louder noise than the spoons. The city did not harass the MSO for their performance, nor demand a permit.

Finally, there are corporate festivals such as the "Bavaria" festival where the city pays corporate performers to dance about in attempts to increase the brand image of a beer.

Is there something wrong with this picture?


From: Montreal | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 5594

posted 11 May 2005 05:53 AM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I found this and thought it appropriate ...

"There was once a nanny-goat who said,
In my cradle someone sang to me:
"A strong man is coming.
He will set you free!"

The ox looked at her askance.
Then turning to the pig
He said,
"That will be the butcher." - Bertolt Brecht


From: Viva La Revolucin | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
April
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 7882

posted 11 May 2005 12:26 PM      Profile for April     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Nice one Fidel! I have slept on it, and have the following conclusion for artists in Montreal:

1) poor/disadvataged/street artists must pay lots of money and jump through lots of hoops or they cannot legally play, meaning harassment and fines from the bureaucrats.

2) elistist and highly trained musicians and artists who belong to unions are allowed to play in the street without interference.

3) performers who audition and are willing to follow a corporate script in a corporate performance that erodes the real culture and replaces it with monoculture get paid to perform.

In other words, the grassroots are being killed and replaced with a top-down corporate solution designed to please advertisers and marketers at the expense of the citizens.

There is a meeting tonight on this issue - I plan to go and make my points known.


From: Montreal | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
Papal Bull
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posted 11 May 2005 06:22 PM      Profile for Papal Bull   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
That's really stupid. Really, really, really sad and stupid.
From: Vatican's best darned ranch | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged
catje
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Babbler # 7841

posted 14 May 2005 03:54 AM      Profile for catje     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
news and history...

quote:
A ban on music by controversial 17th century Indian emperor Aurangzeb led to the fall of his Mughal empire, a Cambridge University researcher has claimed.

Katherine Brown, a research fellow from the famed British university, said here the ban caused widespread anger and led to the collapse of the centuries-old empire.


the musicians in Aurangzeb's time are also said to have held a funeral for music.
could be some great street theatre . . .


From: lotusland | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
April
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posted 17 May 2005 12:27 PM      Profile for April     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
If I'm not mistaken Councillor Louise O'Sullivan has reversed her crusade against the spoonman after too much negative publicity, and now vows to support him! Apparently those 3 days of meetings had artists of all stripes telling the bureaucrats to f*ck off!

Here is an article from HOUR before the reversal was announced (in the Gazette two days ago - not online unfortunately):

quote:
Which brings us to Ville-Marie borough council members Martin Lemay, Robert Larame and Louise O'Sullivan, who have distinguished themselves of late by trying to run downtown Montreal like an Outremont condo association. Specifically, the introduction of draconian (Drapeaunian?) licensing fees for street performers and buskers of all artistic flavours and tastes. Theirs is only the most recent salvo in a ratcheted attack on Montreal street performers, though doubtless the most damaging to date.

This week the three councillors began public consultations into a number of restrictive proposals including, but not limited to, raising the price of a general permit for all performers or artists from $120 to $420; raising the price of a Place Jacques-Cartier permit from $120 to $820; moving performers into out-of-the-way spaces; the introduction of secret busker police; and, a treat for Monty Python fans everywhere, prohibiting the playing of spoons, castanets or triangles on Ste-Catherine between St-Mathieu and University. Kindergarten orchestras everywhere be warned.

These and other controversial initiatives are a response to... well, no one knows what for sure. There have been vague, unsupported allegations that there is too much noise, too much space being occupied, too much Zeppelin, and other not unexpected by-products of normal life in a major city.

But even though it's been going on for decades, apparently now is the time to apply, no joke, community standards. You can have tits and ass hanging out of every doorway of every strip joint of every block on Ste-Catherine Street, but one dude bangin' away on a pair of spoons for food money is offensive. But is it more offensive than, say, bullying the already poor artistic underclass to the tune of $400 or $700 instead of having the balls to come straight out and say what it is you really want?

"I've worked down in Old Montreal for years, and it's a 'fuck you' to the performers, straight up," says actor, comedian and juggler Joe Cobden, who's been doing street theatre for 15 years, since the age of 11, parlaying that experience into roles in both feature films and television. "There's no reason. And, if anything, street performers bring in business... It just doesn't make sense, why wouldn't they get behind their performers?"

That this latest round of licence hikes has the bitter vindictive ring of persecution, far exceeding any reasonable rate of increase, hasn't been lost on artists like Cobden. "It's infuriating to hear this news," he says emphatically. "I won't be doing shows in Old Montreal this summer, no way, not if they're going to treat their performers like that - that's crazy."

For those willing to argue that street performing is more quality-of-life impediment than essential cultural constituent, there are powerful examples of the error of this way of thinking. Starting with the biggest, Cirque du Soleil.



From: Montreal | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
Epistrophy
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posted 17 May 2005 01:24 PM      Profile for Epistrophy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
That's two totally different cases. It sounds sensationalistic to merge these situations into one big "music scene" issue.

People from Ville-Marie sanitizing their downtown shopping experience... Gee, with the gentrification going on full throttle, i'd never have expected such a thing. Kudos to all who actively oppose that proposition.

As for the MSO musicians, it's their workers' right to protest. Legally, their public concert has nothing to do with the street performers' struggle.

The only thing it shows is that, as usual, a prestigious institution gets more press and public concern than a group of anonymous individuals.


From: Quebec | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
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posted 17 May 2005 01:47 PM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
That's two totally different cases. It sounds sensationalistic to merge these situations into one big "music scene" issue.

People from Ville-Marie sanitizing their downtown shopping experience...


I think it's also a bit sensationalistic to describe removing something you approve of as "sanitizing", complete with shades of Orwell and 1984.

Funny, if I proposed a ban on public ads, I doubt you'd call it sanitizing. But get rid of that knob who paints himself silver* and pretends to be a statue, and suddenly it's our darkest hour.

*I assume that if Montreal has buskers, they have one of these guys. I think it's a franchise, like the spraypaint artists who draw space scenes, or the 400 different artists that will draw your portrait.


From: `,_,`,_,,_,, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
Epistrophy
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posted 17 May 2005 03:57 PM      Profile for Epistrophy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Yes, I demonized a visible, commercially influencal group with more voice than they deserve in municipal politics. Sorry...

Anyway, that wasn't the point I was trying to make. I don't agree that there's any substantial link between the two situations, and I don't agree that the MSO musicians are silver spoon elitists either. That's all. Don't go "orwell" on me because I used one buzzword to rapidly describe a situation I didn't want to linger on.

EDIT: For the record, publicity annoys me probably way more than a street performer/homeless can make one's downtown experience uncomfortable (the greed reflex is never enjoyable). So yes, I'd gladly sanitize the streets of ads.

[ 17 May 2005: Message edited by: Epistrophy ]


From: Quebec | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged
scooter
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posted 17 May 2005 05:13 PM      Profile for scooter     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
..led to the fall of his Mughal empire..

So the seperatist movement is about to fall?

From: High River | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
April
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 7882

posted 17 May 2005 11:13 PM      Profile for April     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
As for the MSO musicians, it's their workers' right to protest. Legally, their public concert has nothing to do with the street performers' struggle.

I know - and that is the shame! As musicians they should unite in their struggle. From a musicological point of view, the situation could be a catalyst for better musicians' rights and arts democracy. Right now the word on the street is that the MSO workers are a bunch of cry-babies. While I don't agree with that view, their image could use some buffing, and what better way than to show solidarity with the disposessed and street artists?


From: Montreal | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
al-Qa'bong
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posted 18 May 2005 12:38 AM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
I think it's also a bit sensationalistic to describe removing something you approve of as "sanitizing", complete with shades of Orwell and 1984.

Oh please. You supplied the Orwell shading all by yourself.

By the way, Airstrip One was a rather grimy place, and not sanitized at all.


From: Saskatchistan | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
guilty-pleasure
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posted 18 May 2005 12:40 AM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Fair enough. I read 1984 in, well, 1984.
From: `,_,`,_,,_,, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
mayakovsky
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posted 18 May 2005 12:44 AM      Profile for mayakovsky     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
There is a musician who plays amplified and miked with a drum in the Jean Talon market. He gets going around 10am most weekends and holiday mornings. Where he sets up is less than 50 metres from where people pay to live and he plays for up to four hours. I am wondering how people would react if residents decided to try and displace him.
From: New Bedford | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged
mary123
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posted 18 May 2005 03:30 AM      Profile for mary123     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
There's a south american musician who plays 10 feet away from the entrance of a cafe in the Jean Talon market. It's wonderful.

Ah the Jean Talon market is so wonderful.


From: ~~Canada - still God's greatest creation on the face of the earth~~ | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged

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